July 12, 2007

City Gives Go Ahead For $600,000 Upgrade at Briggs-Smith Airport

Five years of federal funding will come together in the next few months at Briggs-Smith Memorial Airport in Memphis as the Scotland County facility will undergo a more than $600,000 construction phase.

The Memphis City Council awarded the contract on July 5th to Chester Bross Construction Company of Hannibal. The winning bid for the project was $626,212.

The city has received a total of $575,000 in non-primary entitlement (NPE) federal funding being administered by the Missouri Department of Transportation.

The funding is making it possible to build a new 100x250 apron as well as an access taxiway for the runway. The project will also install lighting for the taxiway while performing sealing and repairs of the existing runway.

Consulting engineers Crawford, Murphy & Till, Inc., advised the city to pursue the agreement with the contractor while implementing a few options that would bring the cost into line with the available funding. The city is required to provide a 5-percent match for the federal funding, bringing its cost to $28,750.

These options include decreasing the pavement removal, leaving the portion of the existing taxiway that does not have to be removed for the new construction. The joint sealing and crack sealing amounts will also be reduced, and will be combined in a future project.

Bids for the project were also received from Keith Contracting for $674,307 and from Columbia Curb and Gutter for $790,382.

Construction is expected to begin by the end of July and is scheduled to be completed in two months.

Superintendent Roy Monroe explained that the airport will remain open during the project, with work being suspended while the landing strip is in use, similar to the way highway traffic continues during road construction.

Funding for the project began in 2003 when the city received a $70,000 NPE grant. A similar amount was received in 2004 before the grant grew to $145,000 each of the following three years.

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